Fri, Nov 27, 2009
For the second day in a row we had plans to climb Mt. Tipton in AZ, but again were thwarted. Our mishap from the previous day in getting two flat tires was not to be quickly resolved. Though we had hoped for a surgical strike to pick up two new tires when the Discount Tire shop opened at 8a, most of the morning was pissed away in the drawn out effort it took to conclude a business transaction. The Discount guy was nice and all, but he reminded us of the requirement for Subaru AWD cars to have tires within tight specs (they have to be the same circumference) for proper functioning of the differentials. He would have liked to help us, but he didn't have the tires we needed. I suppose we were lucky that the Las Vegas Subaru dealer had the tires in stock, but the $450 price tag for two tires took much of the wind out of that sail. We eventually got them to remount the two wheels we had brought with us and left feeling fleeced. Loading them in the van, we left Las Vegas and headed for Arizona.
We were stuck for almost an hour getting through the holiday traffic around Hoover Dam, and by the time we had driven to Dolon Springs and reattached the wheels, it was 1p. We could probably have still climbed Mt. Tipton, but it seemed likely we'd be returning by headlamp - an unappealing prospect for a peak said to be unusually brushy for a desert peak. So we went with our backup plan, a far easier outing to nearby Mt. Perkins.
Mt. Perkins is a P2K peak west of Tipton, on the west side of US95. Bill had collected some beta on the peak and it proved quite helpful. We followed directions to an unmarked dirt road on the west side of the highway, northeast of our peak. We followed this roughly west to some powerlines and a fork where we turned south and followed a roughening road into the range. Driving a bit slower than previously, Bill managed to get the Subaru all the way to the radio facility a little more than a mile northwest of the summit. The rest was easy by comparison.
Chilly and breezy at the ridgeline, we bundled up before heading out, following the obvious ridge to the summit. It took all of half an hour to complete the short hike. We had hazy views of the Colorado River and Lake Mojave off to the west, with hazier views of Tipton to the east. The summit was a short distance south of a second radio tower installed just below the highpoint. The summit featured a mailbox used to hold the registers and some trash as well. Once again, MacLeod & Lilley had beaten us to a summit by more than 20 years. Their tatered register book dated to 1986. They had transcribed even earlier scraps of paper dating to 1967. A nearby benchmark had been placed in 1958. We stayed only a short time before beating a retreat, wondering if rain was going to start up at any time (only a few sprinkles were encountered).
The return was uneventful and much like the ascent. By the time we had gotten back to Henderson it was well after dark (more holiday traffic had us backed up for five miles on the approach to Hoover Dam). We were tired of these easy summits and feeling like we weren't getting our usual workout. This would change the following day when we finally were able to vent our pent up energies.
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Perkins
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